My Evil Twin

There’s blood everywhere. It’s thin and runny in some places, thick like syrup in others. It’s bright red. Is blood really that bright? Shouldn’t it be darker? And the people, the people have been dismembered to the point of being completely unrecognizable, shredded pieces of anonymous meat. They could be anyone or anything.

Amongst the gore, the boy stands with slumped shoulders, calm. His white face, framed by unruly black hair, is pure innocence. “I killed them because I had to,” he says, like it’s the most reasonable thing in the world. “I needed to do it.”

I had a meta-dream the other night. What I mean is, I had a dream in which I discussed dreams I had when I was younger. Real dreams, not dreams that existed only in the context of the meta-dream. (You know when you dream about something, and in the dream, it’s all very real, but when you wake up, you realize you never really lived in Belize for a year or explored German castles with Matthew Perry in high school?)

When I was in middle school, I had a series of dreams in which I had a twin brother. Not an identical twin. He was paler than me, with darker hair. His name was Damien (yes, like the boy in The Omen) and he was a horrible, horrible kid. In one dream, he was very kind and nice until he got angry–and his anger was easy to provoke. Then he would fly into murderous rages, beating and killing children and adults. In another dream, he rarely got angry, but he’d decided to make slasher movies in which people were actually killed, and he did all the killing. My dreams about Damien were tense, violent, and bloody. They scared the ever-living hell out of me.

I’ve always been afraid of real violence and have never been a very confrontational person. Damien was my opposite: direct, confrontational, and happy to hurt people. Did he represent real desires in me, subverted and repressed by my environment and education? Did the potential for me to be like Damien exist in my? Does it exist now?

I don’t know. I hadn’t given any thought to those dreams in many, many years, until my subconscious dredged them up the other night in another dream, a dream about terrifying, bloody, rage-filled dreams. A dream about my dreams about my evil twin.